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Posts Tagged ‘features’

What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 59 Comments

We often get asked about what we are working on. While you can be sure we are always working, and that our work probably involves some version of PocketBible, we understand you may be interested in a more detailed explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. It is in that spirit that we are going to try something new with an occasional post on what’s in the pipeline for apps and books.

You’ll notice we don’t talk about release dates. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have learned that our best-laid plans often go awry. In fact, in the software business, that’s the rule rather than the exception. So we don’t spit into that wind nor tilt at those windmills. We’re pursuing the goals you see below at our best pace and will release new books and updates to our apps as soon as they’re ready.

Apps

  • PocketBible for Android – Version 1.4.4 is current. Includes support for upcoming BookBuilder improvements with respect to user-created Bibles.
  • PocketBible for iOS – Version 3.2.3 was released on June 1, 2015. We are currently working on some enhancements to the user interface and changing the way we do text-to-speech to make it easier to manage and less expensive.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.1.5 with support for some upcoming BookBuilder improvements and minor new features was released on April 9, 2015.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • BookBuilder for Mac OS X – Version 1.0.0 was released on 3/6/15. Currently working on some in-house features and better support for user-created Bibles.
  • BookBuilder for Windows Desktop – We’re about done refreshing the Windows version to improve the user interface, improve the integration between the various tools that make up the Professional Edition, and bring it into feature parity with the Mac version.

Books

Here’s what our editorial team has in the queue for you (not in any particular order):

  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • The Applied New Testament and Old Testament Commentary (Cook)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)
  • NASB Bible text Updates
  • Tree of Life Version (TLV)
  • More non-English Bibles (?)

Miscellaneous

In addition to the above we’re currently migrating our entire internet presence to a new hosting company. This takes a significant amount of effort and will cause some brief periods of time when the site will be either slow or entirely shut down as we migrate massive amounts of data from the old servers to the new ones. The benefit to you when we’re done will be additional security and speed. It will also cut our monthly internet service bill in half, which will help us keep our prices the lowest in the industry.


 

Disclaimers: All this is subject to change in priority, feasibility, copyright licensing, etc. That means we reserve the right to never release these features or books. We are sharing with you the current plan which is written in sand, not stone. Also, just because something is not on this list doesn’t mean we are not considering it. Finally, we are open to your requests, suggestions and comments!

Two Ways a Topical Bible is Better than Searching

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 6 Comments

Topical Search

One of the main benefits of PocketBible is being able to locate things quickly in the Bible. The GoTo feature in PocketBible takes you directly to a specific book | chapter | verse in the Bible. For the times you don’t already know the location, you have the Search feature. Just put in a few words or a phrase and PocketBible will present a list of possible matches.

But what if the item you are looking for is not actually mentioned in the Bible (e.g., Trinity)? Or there are different ways to describe it (e.g., marriage and betrothal)? PocketBible can get you there!

Finding the Un-Mentioned

When you know something is mentioned in the Bible but you can’t find it with a PocketBible search for the exact word(s), consider using a topical Bible like Nave’s Topical Bible (a free resource). Nave’s leads you to the applicable Bible verses for over 20,000 topics. For example, a search for the word trinity will bring up zero hits in your PocketBible Bibles but exploring this topic in Nave’s will lead you to dozens of related Bible verses.

Finding the Indirectly Mentioned

Sometimes a search will bring up some of the verses you are looking for or it may bring up different verses in different Bible translations. An example would be if you were interested in finding all the verses about marriage. If you use the Find feature to locate the word “marriage” in the NIV, you would find 46 verses. Search for it in the KJV and you find 18 verses. In the NASB, it’s 32 verses. Why the difference? Each translation may use a different word or phrase to describe marriage for various verses. Instead of “give me the girl in marriage” it may say “give me the girl as my wife.” Thus, the results of a word search will vary depending on the translation.

With a topical Bible, you are reviewing the entire topic of marriage without respect to how the verse is phrased. The topic of a particular Bible verse is going to be exactly the same no matter which Bible translation you are using. Even though the descriptive words may be different, the topic stays the same.

A topical Bible like Nave’s presents topics along with all the related verses. The Nave’s topic for “marriage” is further divided into 26 subtopics. Each sub-topic includes links to verses. And related topics such as divorce, husband and wife are also referenced and linked.

In addition to Nave’s Topical Bible, the following topical Bibles and similar titles are available for use with PocketBible.

If you find Nave’s or the other topical Bibles helpful in your studies, we’d love to hear how! Please share in the comment section below.

Narrow Your PocketBible Searches With Strong’s Numbers

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 5 Comments

Two of the major features of Strong’s Concordance are that it provides an exhaustive list of the words used in the Bible and it links those words back (via the assigned number) to the original language root. If you add Strong’s Concordance to PocketBible, you can search for occurrences of the root word in the Bible using its Strong’s number. We offer three versions of Strong’s Concordance for use with PocketBible: KJVEC, NASEC and HCSBEC.

What is the benefit of using Strong’s Numbers in my searches?

Some things are not apparent in the English translation.

For example, in John 21, Jesus asks Peter three questions, “son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” (v15); “son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” (v16); “son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” (v17). While the KJV translates “lovest” the same each time, Strong’s assigns a different root word to Jesus’ first two uses of “lovest.” Strong’s indicates a root word of agapao (which is assigned the number 25) in the first two questions and then phileo ( which is assigned the number 5368) to that last use of “lovest.” When Peter responds to Jesus’ questions, each time he he uses the word phileo (G5368) to convey his feelings for Jesus.

You could look at the definitions for these Strong’s words and find out what others say about the meaning of these two words. But you could also explore these words in context for yourself with PocketBible. How are these two forms of love used elsewhere in the New Testament? How were they used by Jesus and Peter elsewhere? While your dictionaries may cite some verses where these words are used, the PocketBible search feature will provide you with an exhaustive list of usage.

How can I use Strong’s Numbers in my PocketBible searches?

Simply input the Strong’s number (i.e. G25 or H157) into the PocketBible search field to search for occurrences of that word in a Strong’s-numbered Bible.

To continue with our example, let’s use the PocketBible search feature to find out more about the word “lovest.” The search results presented below are from the KJV and the search is limited to the New Testament since we are talking about a Greek word. The bolded text is what is entered in the search field in PocketBible (or the syntax needed to get the results mentioned).

  • lovest – PocketBible reports this specific word form occurs 4 times in the KJV New Testament (KJVNT)
  • lov* – a second search (with a wild card) tell us that there are 202 variations of the word lov* that occur in KJVNT. The asterisk that follows the letters “lov” is a wildcard which tells PocketBible to search for all endings of the word (wildcards are not needed in the Android and Mac versions of PocketBible as they automatically report all word variations).
  • G25 – 109 verses in the KJVNT use this Greek word with the Strong’s number 25 (which we know from our dictionary means agapao).
  • G5368 – 21 verses in the KJVNT use this Greek word with the Strong’s number 5368 (which we know from our dictionary means phileo).

Thus we now know that while a form of the word “love” is used 202 times in the New Testament, only 109 of those times is the root word agapao and 21 times, phileo. That really doesn’t tell us much except to say that G25 is more commonly used in the New Testament. Given that we also want to know context for these words and how Jesus used them, we could re-run our searches and limit them to the Gospels. From there we could browse through the list to consider how these words were used in the reported verses.

For example, PocketBible reports that G5368 is assigned to the word “kiss” in Luke 22:47, referring to Judas kiss. In addition, G5368 is the root used for the word “loveth” in John 5:20 – “For the Father loveth (G5368) the Son…” So phileo is the root word used for Judas kiss and also to describe how the Father loves the Son. Hmm…this is the time I would be checking Vine’s or the Complete Word Study Dictionary to see what they have to say on this.

You can also use PocketBible to find a particular English word only when it’s translated from a specific Greek or Hebrew word. For example, love:G5368 will find all instances of the word “love” where it is translated from the Greek word 5368. To find a particular English word only when it’s not translated from a specific Greek or Hebrew word, using the format, love:-g5368, will find all instances of the word “love” where it is not translated from the Greek word 5368. To find a particular Greek or Hebrew word only when it’s not translated as a particular English word, using the format, -love:g5368, will find all instances of the Greek word number 5368 where it is not translated into English as “love.” This last search should give us Luke 22:47 where g5368 was used for the English word kiss (as we found above).

Related articles: Accomplishing Word Studies in PocketBible, How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible? and Shortcuts for turning on/off Strong’s Numbers in PocketBible Bibles.

3 Benefits of Listening to the Bible

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

What keeps you from reading your Bible? Time? Ability to focus? You may find listening to the Bible a way to combat these issues and more:

  • Engage two senses – if you read through several paragraphs and can’t remember what you just read, try listening and reading at the same time. This will help you keep your attention on what you are reading.
  • Redeem the time – listen to the Bible while you clean the house, run, work or commute and put this wasted time to a good use.
  • Multi-front approach – if you are trying to memorize or meditate on a specific passage of Scripture, reading and listening separately can reinforce your efforts.

PocketBible offers text-to-speech capability with all but the Windows PC version. To listen with PocketBible, you will need to purchase the Advanced Feature set for the version of PocketBible you are using on your device (Advanced Feature Sets are sold separately for each operating system). Additionally for the iOS version, you also need to purchase a voice; Other versions of PocketBible use the built-in voice capability of the operating system.

Here’s how to use the audio feature in each version of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iOS – with the Advanced Feature Set and a voice installed, you can use the contextual menu to start the reading from any verse in the Bible. Or turn on the Audio remote (icon looks like megaphone) to easily stop and start the audio.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, use the right-click menu to start speaking from the current location of your Bible.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, select Menu | show audio controls and then press Play to start listening.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, choose Audiobar from the menu and tap the play button to begin the audio.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, choose Listen from the menu.

Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year

Posted on: January 1st, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

A new year is here and with it the opportunity for a fresh start on Bible reading efforts! Whether you are on track to make it all the way through from January 1 to December 31 or you got side-tracked at some point during the year, PocketBible makes it easy to begin anew.

Here are instructions for resetting your Bible reading or devotional tracking for the various versions of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch – open PocketBible and go to the Bible reading plan you want to reset. Select the Today button | Devotional Settings and choose to reset your reading progress and change the start date to today’s date.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – if you are using PocketBible on your Android phone, you can change the start date for a devotional by tapping on the dove menu and choosing Devotionals. Then choose the correct book at the top drop down and then hit the Manage button. You can choose to catch up or start over on this page. If you are using PocketBible on a tablet, use the blue tab instead of the dove menu.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – select Menu | Daily Readings and tap and hold on the devotional book. From the menu select Remove daily reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store (8/8.1) – select Daily readings from the application bar and select the devotional book. From the application bar select Remove Daily Reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows PC – choose Devotional Reading | Book Options from the menu and select the Start Over tab. Press the Start Over button. Choose the Start Date tab to set a new start date.
  • PocketBible for Windows Mobile – Are you one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.
  • DailyReader for Palm OS – Are one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.

If you are looking for a different Bible reading plan this year, you’ll find help choosing one in our article on 8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible.

How do I keep my Bible and commentary on the same verse in PocketBible?

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 10 Comments

As you read or study your way through the Bible in PocketBible, you should find that your commentaries are moving in sync with the Bible. In other words, when you are looking at Matthew 25:31 in the Bible, an open commentary that has a comment on this verse should be at that place as well. If you are not seeing this, it may be one of two things:

  • No comment available – The commentary you are viewing does not have a comment on the verse you are looking at in the Bible. Some commentaries are verse by verse. Some are passage by passage. And some items we classify as commentaries, such as Study Bibles, will not comment on every verse or passage.
  • Sync turned off – Keeping your Bible and commentaries in sync on the same verse in PocketBible is an option. It should be on by default in most versions of PocketBible but if a Bible and commentary are not syncing as you’d expect, double-check this option in the settings to make sure it is set correctly. Here’s how to do that in each version of PocketBible:
    • iOS – MENU | SETTINGS | BIBLE SETTINGS – make sure there is a check mark next to “Sync Bibles/Commentaries”
    • Mac OS X – POCKETBIBLE | PREFERENCES | GENERAL – make sure there is a check mark next to “Make all Bibles and commentaries move in response to changes in the active Bible”
    • Android OS – MENU | SETTINGS | PROGRAM SETTINGS – make sure the first item in the list “Bible Synchronization” has a checkmark.
    • Windows Phone and Windows Store – SETTINGS | GENERAL – first option listed, slide “Synchronize Books” to on
    • Windows PC – VIEW | SYNCHRONIZE – click on Synchronize to check mark it (or uncheck mark it).

How to Create Your Own Topical Chain Reference in PocketBible

Posted on: November 1st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 13 Comments

Topical chains are references that take you to the next verse in a topic. They are great for personal study, devotions, sermon prep, and for teaching or preaching. You can easily create your own topical chain reference in PocketBible. It can be as simple or detailed as you want: anything from a few verses and topics to a complete topical chain reference study Bible.

Bookmarks

PocketBible’s bookmarking feature is one I’ve used for years to aid in memorizing scripture. I now have my entire family’s memory list on my Android. Each person’s list is under their own name (as a category). The ability to maintain multiple bookmark lists is perfect for creating your own topical chain reference list.

Simply select a verse in PocketBible and place the bookmark. Create a new or choose an existing category (or topic) to place the bookmark in and you’re done. Easy. There is no limit to the number of bookmark categories you can create or the number of verses you can have in each category.

Verse Links

The next step on the list is creating your own links. To do this you will use the note feature. Select the verse you want to use in your chain reference and type the reference in a note on that verse. The reference becomes a clickable link. You can create a link to just the next verse or you can include the previous verse if you want your chain to go backwards as well as forwards. For multiple topics or to show more detail, write the topic name along with the reference. An alternative is to copy and paste the verse into the note and then place the reference with the portion of the verse you want it to refer to. Go to each verse in your bookmarks and create your links. (Note: verse reference links can’t be created in the Windows Phone/Windows Store versions of PocketBible at this time but is on our request for consideration in updates to these versions).

Highlighting

Another option is to use the highlighting feature. Each highlight can represent a topic (highlights can be renamed if you have the Advanced Feature Set for the version of PocketBible you are using). There are 19 different highlights which include 16 colors and 3 types of underlining. You can use highlighting as the primary topic and write the names of the subtopics in the notes. Select the verse you want to highlight, and then choose your highlight color.

Reading by Topic

To read the verses in the topics/category, simply review the list of verses you’ve bookmarked or highlighted. Any verse links you have added will show up in the notes attached to the verses in your list. This makes it easy to look through and read every single topic and chain reference in your lists.

Example

One of my favorite topics is the Scriptures themselves. I’ve created a chain that I call The Word of God. My list is not exhaustive, but the beauty of using PocketBible is that you can add to your list as much as you want. Here is the list of verses that appear in my bookmark category, The Word of God:

Psalms 119:11, Psalms 119:16, Psalms 119:89, Psalms 119:103, Psalms 119:105, Psalms 119:130, Proverbs 6:23, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Matthew 24:35, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:25, 1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Peter 3:15-16

As I come across verses that speak to me about God’s Word I simply add it to the list. I have color-coded these verses green because that’s the color I use for the Scriptures.

Where do you get the verses for the chains?

My favorite place to get the verses is from my own reading. As I come across a verse that I want in a topical list I simply place it there. Another option is to use other Bibles as resources. I do this when I’m studying from Bibles that contain topical lists or chain references. Another choice is using PocketBible for word-searches.

Have you created your own topical chain references in PocketBible? Do you use another feature not included here?

This article is a guest post by Randy Brown, a long-time PocketBible user and owner of the Bible Buying Guide blog.

NOTE: Some of the features mentioned in this article are only available with purchase of the Advanced Features Set for PocketBible. Advanced Feature sets vary and are sold separately for each version of PocketBible.

Advanced Feature Set Now Available for PocketBible on the Mac

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

While PocketBible for Mac OS X is our most powerful and flexible version of PocketBible to date, we have put together some additional features to create an Advanced Feature Set that we think will enhance your Bible study even further! The Advanced Feature Set is available via in-app purchase (PocketBible Menu | Buy/Apply Upgrade) or can be purchased at the Laridian website for $14.99.

This video overview takes you through the extra features you will enjoy with the Advanced Feature Set:

What can Advanced Features do for you?

The Advanced Feature Set for Mac OS X offers additional study options that will show up on your menus in PocketBible for Mac OS X after you purchase the set. Some items are enhancements to existing features and some are all new features.

All New Features

  • Library Navigator – use this new option on your Study Panel to get an ongoing report of everywhere in your library the currently active verse is discussed. This is most useful with commentaries but you can choose the type of book or specific books to receive this information about.
  • AutoStudy – if you are using Advanced Features on an iPhone or iPad, you will already be familiar with this feature. Right-click on any verse, passage or word to produce and in-depth study using all (or selected) books in your PocketBible library.
  • AutoStudy today’s readings – use this to produce a document of your day’s readings or devotionals (with Bible verses included). You can then read as-is, print or save to a file.
  • Maximize pane or book – if you used PocketBible on Windows CE or Mobile device, you may remember this feature. It allows you to temporarily zoom in on a specific book or pane – maximize it in your window. Since an actual layout is created, you can save the view to easily return to later.
  • Hover over Bible verses to view the verse(s) mentioned in a verse reference. This is a much-requested feature that saves you time when using cross-references.

Enhancements to Existing Features

  • Journal Notes – add notes to PocketBible that are not attached to a Bible verse.
  • Search all – choose to search your entire library at once for a word or phrase (normally, search applies only to the active book)
  • Rename Highlight Colors – change the name of any of the 16 highlight colors to something more meaningful to you (i.e. change Aqua to God’s Love)
  • More layout options
    • Create multiple, named screen layouts for different purposes (for example, one for devotional reading, one for lesson preparation, and one for note-taking during sermons).
    • Create a special layout for devotional reading that will be activated when the Today button is pressed.

How to upgrade

If you are already using PocketBible on your Mac, you’ll need to make sure you are updated to the version 1.1.0 or later. If you are not, you can check for updates under the PocketBible menu in the program. You can then check under the PocketBible menu and choose Buy/Apply Upgrade to purchase from within the app. Be sure to check your Special Offers while you are there before purchasing (another Advanced Feature is the ability to turn off the Special Offers notices that occur occasionally while you are using the app).

Note: While Bibles and books are “buy once, own forever”, Advanced Features are sold separately for each version of PocketBible. This is to support current and future development for each operating system.

To our KickStarter supporters: if you chose a reward that included the Advanced Feature set, this should already be available in your account. If it is not, please contact us at support@laridian.com so we can take care of that for you.

Scripture Memory with PocketBible

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

scripture memorySometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be. A friend shared the following article from Awana with me: 10 Steps for Effective Scripture Memory. These 10 steps are actually fairly simple. To summarize, they suggest you: Read it, write it, speak it, hear it, divide it, memorize it, repeat it, recite it with a group, design it and review it. If memorizing Scripture is something you’d like to do, you can easily accomplish several of these steps with PocketBible using the bookmark or highlight feature:

  • Organize – create two bookmark categories for the purpose of memorizing (i.e. Memorize, Review) or choose a highlight color and rename it*.
  • Select – add the verses you are interested in committing to memory to the appropriate category in PocketBible.
  • Review – follow some or all of the steps in the Awana article to commit the verse to memory including reviewing it, reciting it, listening to it*. Once a verse is memorized, move it to your Review bookmark category for more occasional reviewing.

There are so many benefits to memorizing scripture including having the sword of the Spirit always at hand (Ephesians 6:17), helping you to focus on the right things (Philippians 4:8), and keeping you from sin (Psalm 119:9,11).

If you have tips on memorizing verses, please share them in them in the comments below! If you are looking for a dedicated memorization tool to use, consider this free online tool called Memverse.

Note: Some features mentioned above require the purchase of an Advanced Feature set which are currently available for iOS, Mac OS X,Windows Phone and Windows Store.

How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?

Posted on: October 4th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

When it comes to Bible study, a concordance usually refers to one of two things: the concordance in the back of your Bible or Strong’s Concordance.

What is a concordance?

The concordance found in the back of your printed Bible lists common words or phrases in alphabetical order with verse references. You won’t find such a list in the back of your PocketBible Bibles because the built-in search feature replaces it. PocketBible acts as an unlimited concordance allowing you to search for any word or phrase in the Bible and learn where (and how many times) it occurs.

What is Strong’s Concordance?

In the late 1800’s, James Strong decided Bible students needed an exhaustive list of the words used in the Bible and an easier way to tie it back to the original language word. So he assigned a number to every original language word used in the Bible – Hebrew root words used in the Old Testament (8,674) and Greek root words used in the New Testament (5,624). He then went through the King James Version Bible and listed every English word used in that translation. Then he put the two together by assigning an original language word number to each English word so you could see the connection without needing to know Hebrew or Greek.

Along with the original language Hebrew or Greek word, are included a transliteration (so you can pronounce the word) and a brief definition. Over the decades since Strong’s Concordance was first published, others have used his numbers to provide more extensive explanations of the Hebrew or Greek word including W.E. Vine (Vine’s Expository Dictionary) and Spiros Zhodiates (Complete Word Study Dictionaries). Other Bible versions (in addition to the KJV) have used Strong’s numbers to create concordances for their translations. We offer Strong’s-numbered versions of the New American Standard Bible (NASEC) and Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSBEC).

How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?

With PocketBible, you can view a Strong’s-numbered Bible and tap on the number next to a word to view the definition in any Strong’s-numbered dictionary. This is demonstrated in the video below and explained further in our article on Accomplishing Word Studies in PocketBible.

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